Today’s newspapers continue the discussion of why there was no official tsunami warning network in place for the Indian Ocean, and how to set one up now. None mentions the option of relying on the mass media (plus secondary spread via telephone and word of mouth). Strange, don’t you think?
A long-service Federal worker points out that even where official systems are in place, the informal ones often work better.
When OPM* declares a weather emergency and sends DC bureaucrats home; it tells the Cabinet agencies which tell the Operating Divisions which tell the Centers which tell the Branches which tell the Sections, etc. Being in the sticks, we get the official word the next day. We’re all long gone, having heard that the government is closing from the radio.
* “OPM” is the Office of Personnel Management, the Federal government’s despised human resources department, also known as the Office of Personnel Mismanagement.